The 7th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) has announced the schedule for its 2009 edition, including five feature films making their world premiere, five features making their U.S. premiere, and five features making their L.A. debut. The festival, which runs April 21-26, showcases recent Indian films and aims to promote an exchange of diverse perspectives within the Indian diaspora.
The six-day festival is set to open Tuesday, April 21 with the World Premiere of Anand Surapur’s “The Fakir of Venice,” about two Indian con men who venture to Venice and find themselves in a strange land where their culture is commodified and exploited for artistic, political and spiritual purposes. The festival closes Sunday, April 26 with Megan Doneman’s “Yes Madam, Sir,” a documentary profiling Dr. Kiran Bedi, the first woman to join the Indian Police Service and a controversial and inspiring figure in India.
Highlights of the 2009 program include a list of nine films helmed by female filmmakers, including such high profile films as Nandita Das’s directorial debut, “Firaaq,” Deepa Mehta’s “Heaven on Earth,” Sooni Taraporevala’s “Little Zizou,” and Nina Paley’s animated “Sita Sings the Blues.” Also this year, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Suneel Gupta will officially launch the Kahani Movement at IFFLA. The brothers are co-founders of the project which aims to capture and share stories from Indians that immigrated to the United States by motivating second-generation Indian Americans to pick up a camera, interview their parents, and then post that footage to a central website. “These cherished stories are evaporating along with the people who lived them,” says co-founder Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “It is our generation’s responsibility to preserve those stories, so that they are never lost.”
IFFLA Festival Director Christina Marouda notes this year’s festival is significant due to the success of “Slumdog Millionaire” and the recent surge of business taking place between Mumbai and Los Angeles. “IFFLA is solidifying itself as a key touchstone in the US for the Indian entertainment industry at a time when the Indian film industry and the film business community in Hollywood are truly coming together,” she said.
For the complete schedule and more information about the IFFLA, visit the festival’s official website.